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Old 06-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
Schnitzengiggle's Avatar
Feb 2009
Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,560
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A couple years ago, a buddy of mine was trying to accomplish the "10 things a drinker must accomplish before they die" or something to that effect. Brew your own beer was on the list, so he gave it a shot. His beer was ****ty, given it was his first brew (and only brew). BTW, he never brewed again.

Like I said it was a couple years ago and I recently got married and I was looking for something to do as a hobby that wouldn't take me away from home so I could spend time with my wife. I remebered the brew I drank with my buddy and started to research the cost and what all was invovled with brewing. I read John Palmers "How to Brew" online during some research, and then I went ahead and bought a basic equipment kit to do extract brews.

Shortly thereafter, I found HBT and learned a hell of alot more than most books divulge. I have brewed 8 times since February and I love it!, I wish I could find more time to brew, but don't we all?

I'm currently gathering equipment for my AG adventure, hopefully shortly after the new year I will take the next step.
follow me @ Broken Glass Brewery

Okham's Razor - simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

My DIY Kegerator - My DIY Fermentation Chamber - My DIY Portable Pump Box

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Old 06-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #12
Captain_Bigelow's Avatar
May 2009
Los Angeles
Posts: 825
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Originally Posted by nealf View Post
Alton Brown's Amber Waves
same here.

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Old 06-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #13
Registered User
Jun 2009
Posts: 51

From 91-2000 I lived in Germany with my now ex-wife. Before I went to Germany, I thought I enjoyed beer, but having been a soldier, much of my experience was with the mega-breweries. Once in Germany, my "wife" taught me what real beer tasted like, and I was hooked.

In late 2000, we were divorced and I came back to the US thinking that beer was beer....and I was so wrong. So I went on a search for the "right" beer, never having thought about brewing it myself. Until that fateful evening in May of 2004. My new wife had just given birth to our only daughter. I came home from the hospital to care for our 2 boys. Once they were in bed, I shared the news with my neighbor, who obviously knew that the preggo wife wasn't at home. He told me that it was time to celebrate and brought out some Grolsch bottles filled with what appeared to be beer....but the bottles were brown, not green. I commented on that and he told me it was "Home Brew" that a buddy of his made.


I was stunned.


It was heaven. THIS was the beer I'd been searching for the past 4 years. Only to find out that it was possible to make this wonderful concoction at home.

Well, I spent the next few years being busy as a father, husband, working man, all know that story....and the idea of home brewing was put waaay on the back burner. I didn't forget it, I just dealt with the mega-brewers' swill that they sell, all the while remember. Then one day, on the spur of a wild hair, when I had nothing better to do, I googled "how to make beer" and came up with John Palmer's web book. It's been down hill since.

I have yet to put my first brew to the pot or fermentor, as I am still collecting parts, but I fully intend to to build my own "kit" for my first home brew. I think I have an idea of where I am going with it, but I most certainly am going to need the help of the well informed people here to get over that hurdle of never having brewed, to never again drinking the mega-brewers' swill.......


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Old 06-20-2009, 10:06 PM   #14
Apr 2009
Posts: 141

Originally Posted by Killer_Robot View Post
Mr. Beer here was well. Saw one for sale on woot! and picked it up. Checked out further details and landed here to learn what all I needed. When I was readying to bottle my first beer and brew my second, I stopped at the LHBS to get myself a hydrometer and a capper and ended up coming home with a whole 5 gallon kit. From there it's just been a continued slide.
Pretty much the same thing here. I had my first batch going in the Mr Beer and was like well I would really like to batch prime so I ended up buying a 5 gal kit and already have my second 5 gal bubbling away. I actually did make 2 in the Mr Beer but it has already been retired but I plan on one day brewing some Eds apfelwein in it.

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:11 PM   #15
WenValley's Avatar
Jun 2009
Wenatchee WA
Posts: 329
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I would like to add one other tidbit...

In High School, back about 1966 or so, my two best friends and I were flat broke. And we had some serious parties coming up, so we decided to "Make our own beer!"

You can imagine how elegant this idea seemed to three teenage boys back in the old days.

We read what little literature there was, and we brewed up a batch under his bed. I'm not kidding here. His mom kept commenting on how bad his socks smelled. Well, we brewed it for about two weeks, and it was really crappy! But we drank it, it was almost impossible to swallow. But we were young and broke, so....

We had no illusions that it was good, but it had alcohol, so it met the test.

Now I have my two first batches in carboys bubbling away. My objective is for it be better tasting than the batch in 1966.

So, I'm quite certain that I've had worse beer than you, and I'm also pretty sure that I can only improve at this point. Thanks.

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:15 PM   #16
Jan 2009
Dallas, TX
Posts: 755
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A buddy of mine has been homebrewing for 8-9 years now and I always liked his beer. I had been wanting to get into homebrewing for the last 4 years or so, but was never able to. When I was in school there was always an issue of time or money. Then when I moved to Texas, we lived in an apartment and we didn't have the room.

Then, when I got married last year, my homebrewing buddy and another friend got me a starter kit. It's been downhill ever since.
Dead Felon Brewing

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Old 06-20-2009, 10:16 PM   #17
enderwig's Avatar
Nov 2007
Dickinson Texas
Posts: 1,435
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I used to make alot of mead, one day I was in the LHBS and they had some imperial stout on tap, they offered me a glass, I said "give me everything I need to make that" and the rest is history.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:23 PM   #18
Feb 2009
Martha's Vineyard, MA
Posts: 392
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Back in 2002 a friend of mine had a buddy who was moving. He came to visit and brought all of his homebrew equipment with. He taught us how to brew extract brews and left all his gear with us. A couple of carboys, thermometer, hydrometer, tubing, bottling bucket, cappers and an old ragged copy of The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing. We brewed a whole bunch of extract brews. Mostly IPAs and stouts. I had a converted keg fridge set-up for sanke kegs already and switched it over to a 2 keg corny set-up. We even planted some hops in my side yard. Unfortunately my buddy moved and had kids, and we couldn't find time to get together to brew. So, we only did a few batches from '05-'08.

When I moved at the beginning of this year, I found that I suddenly had space for brewing equipment of my own. I got set-up and did a couple of extract batches and that's when I found HBT. Now I'm doing PM and AG batches, upped my kegerator to 4 taps with 6 total cornies, got 3 varieties of hops growing in the yard and an ever growing assortment of equipment (Also a couple of batches in process of course).

Love brewing, love HBT.
Kegged: Infinite Improbability IPA (Chinook, Citra, Belma DH), Infinite Improbability IPA (Simcoe DH in keg)
Bottled: 12-12-12 (The Kurgan)

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Old 06-20-2009, 11:15 PM   #19
Jun 2009
Upstate NY
Posts: 21
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I haven't yet, but tomorrow (Father's Day) will be my first batch...

About a month ago, I was browsing the book section of a local thrift shop (like the Salvation Army). I usually go about once a week searching for "treasures". I found a copy of Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" for $0.50. It looked interesting, so I bought it.

I read it from cover to cover. There was a lot of interesting, informative and humorous information in it. I thought to myself: "Self, this looks like it might be fun, but the startup costs might be a bit prohibitive for something I'm not going to like doing."

Then I remembered... My grandfather had been a wine maker all of his life, and he had a wine cellar in the basement of the house in which my mom was living. So I asked her: "Is grandpa's wine making stuff still in the basement?" She said: "I think it is. We gave away his hand made wine press and hand made barrels to a friend who makes wine." I asked if the key was still there, and she said that she thought it was... Ummmm... No. So she hands me a few key rings with about 75 keys on them, 50 of which could fit the master lock on the wine cellar. So I tried them one at a time, and at about 30 hit the jackpot and it opened.

I pulled the string by the door to turn on the light and the circular flourescents started to brighten, then went out! Crap! So I went upstairs and got a light bulb to put in the regular fixture. I turned on the light and discovered.

Two 5 gal glass carboys with fermentation locks.
Two 5 gal plastic carboys.
Assorted tubing that had been engineered by my grandfather for unattended siphoning.
A tubing shut-off gizmo (will be great for bottling)
An stand-up bottle capper.
A plastic garbage can with lid containing a 2.5 gal bucket and a funnel.

The room has a raised shelf around two walls with a sturdy table designed for sitting on top of it for assorted gravity siphoning.

So my next trip was to the local home brew shop. I bought.

A 5 gal Dunkelweisen kit.
24 22-oz Beer bottles.
New tubing (threw out all the nasty rubber stuff that was there, kept the engineering enhancements, though. )
Two new corks.

I cleaned out my working carboy and filled it with hot water with 2oz of Chlorox and have let it sit for a few days. I am also soaking my fermentation locks and new corks in the same solution.

One thing I learned from Papazian was "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew". I can't have a homebrew yet because it's my first batch. But I can relax and not worry.

I'm going to be working with my daughter tomorrow (who I invited to brew the first batch with me) and pretty much following the instructions in the kit. A couple of mods will be (and feel free to tell me they won't work).

1. Instead of seeping the grains in 165 degree water for 20 min like the instructions say, I'm going to be putting them in the cold water, bringing the whole 2 gal up to a boil, and taking the grains out just before it starts a rolling boil. The rest of the hopping instructions I'll follow to the letter, boiling the whole thing for 55 minutes, the last 5 dedicated to flavoring hops.

2. I'm putting 3 gal of refrigerated water in the carboy, and will be pouring the hot wort through a strainer/funnel into the chilled water. Then I'm going to affix an aquarium thermometer onto the middle of the carboy.

Later that evening I'll return and check the temp. If it's 70 or below, I'll pitch the yeast. I probably won't go back for at least 3 days to check the fermentation.

I'm going to work hardest on RDWHAHB
- Tony

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Old 06-20-2009, 11:29 PM   #20
Mar 2009
Posts: 502
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my girlfriend bought me a nice kit from the homebrew store. I made 20 or so batches of extract, thinking all grain was way too hard, took too much equipment, etc...

I moved, broke up with the girl (divorced, actually) and my new girlfriend said, "have you ever made beer?". "oh Yeeeaaaaa......"

I bought a new kit, made 3 extract batches, found this site and made a few partial mash batches and then started doing all grain.

I live in an apartment, I have beer stuff all over the place (empty bottles in the living room, bubbling primarys in the bedroom, etc). I've picked up speed and I'm loving it.

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